I think most of us can agree that our students’ favorite day of the school week is Friday. Fridays are particularly fun at my school, because most of our special events, assemblies and celebrations occur on Friday afternoons.
This year we’ve decided to add one more reason to look forward to Fridays– an optional afternoon get-together dedicated to making music. It will be held in the activity room at my school, and all classrooms are invited to attend. The idea is to let the students choose the songs and musical activities; not only will they be having fun, but they will be exercising their leadership and decision-making skills.
A half-hour "for fun" music class is a great way to end the week on a positive note (no pun intended!) and can easily be replicated in a single classroom. By providing students with choices (either written or in picture form), they can decide either individually or by group voting which songs and activities will be included in the session.
Here are the categories I am planning to offer:
- • Songs from current classes (an opportunity to reinforce those concepts!)
- • Student favorites from past months
- • Well-known songs to which everyone can sing along
- • Popular songs in mainstream music (only those with lyrics and subject matter appropriate for school, of course).
Most of my students use picture cards to make choices, since many are non-verbal, or aren’t able to read. I absolutely love creating visual materials, so I can’t wait to get to work creating cards for all of those songs! (Now that I mention it, that’s another good idea for a student activity…)